Raptor Enclosure for the Pueblo of Zuni NM



The Zuni Eagle Sanctuary is a place of practical purpose and spiritual presence. Situated on the Pueblo of Zuni in northwestern New Mexico, it is the centerpieces of the natural resources compound, located just off the single paved road that connects the Middle Village to the outlying Black Rock area housing. It is a Place marked by community involvement in the design and construction process, reliance on local materials quarried and milled from Zuni lands, and the reintroduction of traditional building techniques for construction. Originally designed to hold birds and their caretakers, the site has expanded in significance as people from Zuni and elsewhere discover the power of the space inhabited by the eagle. Project History Eagle feathers play a central role in the ritual observances of the Zuni tribe.  In the past, tribal members were free to keep eagles, but today only eagles unsuited to the wild may be held in captivity, their condition monitored by the federal government. Rather than continue to apply to the government for eagle feathers, the Zuni have constructed and aviary to house these injured eagles. As birds molt, their feathers are collected to distribute to the tribe.

aviary interior
aviary interior

The aviaries themselves are essentially flight areas and cages, designed and built with respect for Zuni tradition, placed in relation to the sacred mesa Dowayalanee.  Material from the pueblo lands was used for construction: a sawmill was purchased to produce the 2”x@’ slats made from wood harvested at the pueblo.  Highly skilled Zuni masons have trained younger members to lay the reddish sandstone walls in Chaco style.

The complete compound consists of:

Raptor Enclosures two aviaries to increase the supply of feathers

Portals within the compoundvisitor orientation with Portals for eagle viewing

Speaking and Listening Room: A community meeting Room, constructed of rammed earth, with acoustic panels in walls and ceiling to modulate voices, cool areas to store peaches

Land Maps: Lines in the Desert: Array of land “masses” to contain locations for peach trees, waffle gardens, and benches, these large elements in earth locate significant sites in outlying areas, and place by tribal members

Rare Earth Midrise Mud 4th International Alvar Aalto Meeting on Modern Architecture 2011 Jyvaskyla, Finland

4th International Alvar Aalto Meeting on Modern Architecture 2011 Jyvaskyla, Finland
presented and included in refereed proceedings
Highrise Shuffle Conference
Midrise Mud    Authors: Armstrong, Claude;  Cohen, Donna 
ISBN 978-9-5254-9824-0
abstract: RARE EARTH: Mid-Rise Mud
Can mud buildings emerge as mid-rise mediators between low-density urban fabric and true towers? Can we use parametric modeling tools to shape mud, an ancient and elemental building material, into a high performing building elements for new towers that connect earth to sky? 
 The tall mud structures, in Djenne, Mali, and the walled city of Shibam, Yemen, are the ancestors of the new responsive mud tower.  Relatively tall earthen structures have been built for centuries to resist lateral loads and other non-compressive stresses, not merely by mass. Rather than the normative Western paradigm, can alternative towers, shaped by new technology yet constructed with earth, answer the call for a “friendly” “softer” tower?The development of earth towers is promising for contemporary programs in cultural heritage sites, particularly in the developing world. Interventions into historic urban contexts can demand density but also material compatibility.  Earthen architecture may be entering a new phase with the application of material studies that recombine previously “unalloyed” substances in novel ways. Rapid virtual testing allows reconfiguration of new material into forms at micro and macro scales. A fibrous, granular, and cohesive earthen-based structural material, with new understanding of its behavior, can be formed into sensuous, three-dimensional, and human-scaled buildings.This paper presents our proposal for a midrise earthen tower for an historic city in North Africa, and discusses current developments in the design of earth towers, including a variety of earthen and baked bricks and structural ceramics being designed today for the towers of the future.

download paper: Rare Earth